Jan 2016 saw the best year yet in Karen traditional dance at Karen New Year in Western Australia. With widespread social media and community newspaper coverage for the AKO (WA) group last year, this year the team aims to go one better. Last year AKO (WA) had great feedback from the WA Karen community for the group, and this year they are aiming to take the next step in Karen culture performance.
The adult group will expand from 8 to 16 performers, and instead of using digital background music, the traditional format of drums, cymbals and the dancers singing will be used. The team also have the benefit of Saw Htoo Paung's experience instructing the adult men this year and the results are showing. This year AKO (WA) also has an under 18's team of 10 which will also dance to traditional drum, and singing etc, an under 12's team made up of 10 boys and 10 girls, and an under 10's team of 5 children.
Promoting Karen culture will continue to be a focal point for the Karen community in Western Australia, particularly as AKO continues to expand.